Breakup of diplomatic and commercial ties between Venezuela and Panama


On March 5th 2014, the president of Venezuela decided to break up both diplomatic and commercial ties with Panama creating an atmosphere of distrust has between both countries without affecting the maritime trade so far.
 
After conducting an investigation by checking all the information available about this situation (mostly from official sources and the press) in order to determine if the breaking of “diplomatic and commercial” ties with Panama could affect the Panamanian flagged vessels expected to call or sail from/to Venezuela, so far there aren’t indications at least officially that the situation could get extended to the maritime trade. In fact you may note in the following note from our minister of foreign affairs where is pointed out that the breakup of the economic ties is only extended to the freezing of the 2 billion USD debt that Venezuela holds with Panama:
 
http://www.mre.gov.ve/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=34249:venezuela-declara-personas-no-gratas-a-funcionarios-de-la-embajada-de-panama-y-ratifica-suspension-de-relaciones-diplomaticas&catid=2:actualidad&Itemid=325
 
Notwithstanding of the above and as unfortunately occurs with the Venezuelan government, they only way to know with certainty if the Panamanian flagged vessels could get affected would be during such a situation like that if our government decides to do so.
 
We would also add the statement made by the Panamanian Presidency Minister, Roberto Henriquez who informed that Panama will put in place sactions agaisnt Venezuelan functionaires will not be extended to the cargo shipments from/to Venezuela throught the Panama channel:
 
http://www.eluniversal.com.co/mundo/latino-america/panama-anuncio-que-aplicara-sanciones-venezuela-154007
 
Finally, we would add that we´ve looked out for precedents and found that not too many years ago a similar situation took place with the US and no affectation was caused to the US flagged vessels (mostly oil tankers) that continued working normally with Venezuelan ports as destination.
 
Should you have any further question, please don’t hesitate on contacting us.

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